Aaron's Rod eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Aaron's Rod.
down at the further end of the room.  Lady Franks was playing, in the large drawing-room.  And the ripple of the music contained in it the hard insistence of the little woman’s will.  Coldly, and decidedly, she intended there should be no more unsettling conversations for the old Sir William.  Aaron was to come forthwith into the drawing room.  Which Aaron plainly understood—­ and so he didn’t go.  No, he didn’t go, though the pianoforte rippled and swelled in volume.  No, and he didn’t go even when Lady Franks left off playing and came into the library again.  There he sat, talking with Sir William.  Let us do credit to Lady Franks’ will-power, and admit that the talk was quite empty and distracted—­none of the depths and skirmishes of the previous occasions.  None the less, the talk continued.  Lady Franks retired, discomfited, to her piano again.  She would never break in upon her lord.

So now Aaron relented.  He became more and more distracted.  Sir William wandered away like some restless, hunted soul.  The Colonel still sat in his chair, nursing his last drop of creme de menthe resentfully.  He did not care for the green toffee-stuff.  Arthur was busy.  The Major lay sprawled in the last stages of everything on the sofa, holding his wife’s hand.  And the music came pathetically through the open folding-doors.  Of course, she played with feeling—­it went without saying.  Aaron’s soul felt rather tired.  But she had a touch of discrimination also.

He rose and went to the drawing-room.  It was a large, vacant-seeming, Empire sort of drawing-room, with yellow silk chairs along the walls and yellow silk panels upon the walls, and a huge, vasty crystal chandelier hanging from a faraway-above ceiling.  Lady Franks sat at a large black Bechstein piano at one end of this vacant yellow state-room.  She sat, a little plump elderly lady in black lace, for all the world like Queen Victoria in Max Beerbohm’s drawing of Alfred Tennyson reading to her Victorian Majesty, with space before her.  Arthur’s wife was bending over some music in a remote corner of the big room.

Aaron seated himself on one of the chairs by the wall, to listen.  Certainly it was a beautiful instrument.  And certainly, in her way, she loved it.  But Aaron remembered an anthem in which he had taken part as a boy.

                    His eye is on the sparrow
                    So I know He watches me.

For a long time he had failed to catch the word sparrow, and had heard: 

                    His eye is on the spy-hole
                    So I know He watches me.

Which was just how it had all seemed to him, as a boy.

Now, as ever, he felt the eye was on the spy-hole.  There sat the woman playing music.  But her inward eye was on the spy-hole of her vital affairs—­her domestic arrangements, her control of her household, guests and husband included.  The other eye was left for the music, don’t you know.

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Aaron's Rod from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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